Hundreds of faithful gathered at the Orthodox Church in America’s Representation Church of the Great Martyr Catherine here on August 9, 2002, for the celebration of the Feast of Saint Herman of Alaska and the patronal feast of the newly elected Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman.
“This celebration—one that is held in common by the Orthodox Churches of America and Russia—is just one more sign of the unity that exists between our two sister Churches” said Archimandrite Zacchaeus, Rector of Saint Catherine’s Church. “This year’s celebration marks the first time such a large gathering came together for the feast of North America’s first saint.”
Joining Archimandrite Zacchaeus in concelebrating the festal services were the abbots of several area monasteries and the rectors of numerous Moscow parishes with close relationships with the Orthodox Church in America and who have hosted OCA delegations to Moscow.
Following the festal Divine Liturgy, a procession made its way around the parish complex, while a festal meal, sponsored by a friend of Saint Catherine parish, was held at a local restaurant. During the meal, the guests spoke warmly about the election of Metropolitan Herman, and they congratulated Archimandrite Zacchaeus on his appointment as the new Rector of Saint Catherine’s.
“The Church of Saint Catherine, an historic complex in central Moscow, was made available to the OCA for use as a Representation Church in 1994,” according to the Very Rev. John Matusiak, OCA Communications Director. “During the communist era, it was used for secular purposes, but most of the complex has been restored and is now used for worship and fellowship.”
Archimandrite Zacchaeus notes that the community is hopeful that the part of the church building still used by the Grabar Institute will soon be returned for parish use.